Happy Birth Day Sweet Sixteen

Twenty-sixteen that is!

Here we go! … brand new year full of brand new stuff from Widder Island … and musings and occasional visiting cat photos.

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Greetings to the bunch of people who started following this blog at the end of December, you know, after I posted that I wasn’t going to post anything until the new year. Seriously though, welcome and I hope you enjoy the ride.

I wonder at what point in the Golden Age of rock-n-Roll (everything before 1970) did someone decide that a female human is officially ‘available’ the moment she turns sixteen? Fifteen is off-limits but after that she’s fair game?

Was it a reaction to the buttoned-up fifties and the concerted effort to put women, and by extension girls, back in the home at the end of WWII?

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It seems our pernicious grammarian continued their dastardly actions and picked on the entire Phryne Fisher series. They grow bolder by the book, not content to merely correct historical data, they are now taking thesaurus-ing to a whole ‘nuther level. Mrs Widds has post-it noted an entire book (8 ‘edits’ and counting) and we’ll let our Librarian know. (not this sort of Librarian, but I bet they sometimes wish they could be)

I have to ask myself, what has this person got against Phryne?

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Dear Author

Mrs Wids is reading her way through our local library. Recently she came across a wonderful Australian murder/mystery series by Kerry Greenwood, The Phryne (pronounced ‘fry-knee’) Fisher Mysteries, set in Melbourne during the Roaring Twenties.

One day not long ago she (Mrs Widds, not Phryne) was sitting in her favourite armchair in our study with her broken foot perched at a jaunty angle on her favourite footstool. I was nearby typing away, rather noisily I must admit, in full creative flight when I heard a series of ascending indignant grumbles and harrumphs, followed by words somewhat coherent and entirely unsuitable for young ears.

I turned to her and asked, “Yes, dear?”

“Look at this!” she said, and poked an accusing finger into the book on her lap. I looked, and silently handed her an eraser.

Portholes rather than French windows?

Portholes rather than French windows?

I don’t write in printed books. It goes back to my childhood, I think, when books were scarce and precious portals into far-away worlds. Also it just seemed … well … bad mannered.

When I come across a big typo, I’m a little annoyed ( a helluva lot less now than I was before I started my writing career) because it stands out like a sore thumb and throw me out of the story.

But these weren’t just your everyday typo corrections.

Drills and passengers

Drills and passengers

These were editorial opinions, perhaps based on accurate personal knowledge, perhaps not. But someone else, other than the author, passed judgment and voiced their opinions in a way that forced EVERY SINGLE OTHER READER of that book to pay attention to them. Thereby also forcing EVERY SINGLE OTHER READER out of the story.

Talk about egotistical attention seeking.

Even in the days before the interwebz, readers had a way to contact an author, or their publisher, and inform them of such things as typos. Now, social media makes it so much more simple. We can leave messages/comments on author blogs, websites, twitter, youtube, facebook, whatever and engage the author in a dialogue.

But this? …

... this is just disrespectful

… this is just disrespectful

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Take it away, Aretha